I'm thrilled to have the awesome Catherine Robertson on the blog today. Catherine is New Zealand's number one humourous, women's fiction writer - she's been number one on the bestselling lists here and is an all round super star. So let's meet one of her men, shall we?!
Meet Benedict Hardy from The Not so Perfect Life of Mo Lawrence (Black Swan, 2012)
Name: Benedict Hardy
Vital Stats: Our first glimpse: “Benedict Hardy was tall, around six two, and as lean and fine-boned as a whippet. He had very long legs, their thinness exaggerated by the tight, tapered black jeans he always wore, topped with either a Buzzcocks-style blazer or a zipped motorcycle jacket, à la Joey Ramone. Both jackets were just that little bit too small, but somehow contrived to make him annoyingly stylish. He had suitably punk-pale skin and close-cropped white blonde hair. In Aishe’s opinion, he was saved from looking like an anaemic wading bird only by a generous mouth and a lively pair of green-brown eyes.”
Occupation: itinerant tutor of Gulliver, Aishe’s 14 year-old son (Aishe is heroine #2 in the book, and Benedict’s love interest.)
Celebrity Look-a-like? Laurence Fox, aka Detective-Sergeant Hathaway in Lewis.
White Lie or Absolute Honesty: Benedict is scrupulously honest, but also very well brought up, so he will err on the side of politeness – until it becomes necessary to say what he is thinking.
Sunny Side Up or Over Easy: Scrambled. Benedict went to boarding school.
Boardshorts or Briefs: Boardshorts – he needs the bulk.
Best known for: being on the run from his crime-lord father, whom Benedict thinks is out to kill him.
So how about an excerpt… [halfway through the book, Benedict ends up with a girlfriend that he doesn’t really want, but he’s too polite to get rid of her]
Izzy lifted his hand and placed it under her t-shirt. Izzy never wore a bra; she didn’t need to. Her breasts were full but as yet unaffected by age and gravity. They were fantastic breasts, Benedict had to admit. But right now, I’d rather be holding a book.
When Izzy began to unbutton his jeans, Benedict tried frantically to think of an excuse. The options he came up with were angina, brittle bone syndrome and cystitis, and he was on the verge of being desperate enough to pick one when the room was filled with the smell of burning cheese.
Izzy leapt off him, grabbed a dishcloth and yanked open the oven door. When she plonked the smouldering dish down on the table, Benedict saw that the cheese was still bright yellow, but also now hard and shiny, like a piece of bad pottery glazed in a kiln. The corn chips and beans that were visible were blackened.
‘It’s not so bad,’ Izzy said. ‘You can just pick off the burned bits.’
And that’s exactly what Benedict did. He even ate some of the burned bits so that Izzy wouldn’t have to.
I can’t tell, he thought as he tried not to gag, whether I’m a gentleman or a moron. The history of the British aristocracy would suggest that it’s entirely possible to be both. Take Sir Walter Raleigh, he of the cape and the puddle. He was a perfect gentleman yet the queen still imprisoned him for acting without her permission. What was it he did again? Oh yes, thought Benedict. He got married.
For a moment he was gripped by a dread so intense he felt the strongest urge to glance over his shoulder. It was like the room had been entered by some malevolent presence — one whose inimical attention was focused like a poisoned dart pipe on the back of Benedict’s neck.
Then he felt a second urge, this time to look at Izzy, which he did, very carefully, as if she might suddenly have transformed into something with scales and very long fangs. She hadn’t. She was smiling at him. Her cheeks, her eyes were glowing with that most potent mix of youth, health and beauty. Her hair was a cloud of spun gold — there was no other way of putting it. She was gorgeous, ravishing, and she was all his. And she was right here, sitting in his kitchen, where she’d be again tomorrow morning after she’d shared his bed. And the following evening, she’d put the shopping on the bench, rub his shoulders and cook him dinner, and . . .
Oh God, thought Benedict. Goddamn it all to the darkest depths of hell.
She’s my milkmaid and I’m her swain. She’s my Greensleeves, my nut brown maiden, my lassie coming through the rye. These two joined hearts let no man put asunder. For ever and ever, amen.
I’m done for.
“Chick lit meets Lake Wobegon – that is, the men are good-looking and the women are strong. Michelle Lawrence, who calls herself Mo to irritate her Southern-belle mother-in-law, is a lawyer on the Mummy track in North Carolina. That’s OK but it gives her too much time to think especially when her handsome husband Chad relocates the family to San Francisco, then immerses himself in the new job. Conveniently, Michelle’s-best-friend-in-England’s boyfriend’s sister ran away to San Francisco years ago and the introduction is successful because both Michelle and Aishe are first-class stroppy witches. Catherine Robertson’s second novel features several characters from its predecessor, with similar amounts of warmth and positivity. It’s all about getting over yourself, with help from friends, family, decorative men, running jokes and backbone.” (Review in Your Weekend magazine, Sept 2012)
I know, you want a copy, right?! Well, you can find out where to to buy her books from here and be sure to go into the draw below!
Catherine Robertson was born in Wellington, New Zealand. She left for a while to live in San Francisco and Buckinghamshire, but is now back home. She lives in a house by the sea with her husband who sheds bicycle bits, a black labrador who sheds hair, a cat who sheds bits of whatever it’s just eaten and two sons who shed all of the above. Her first novel was The Sweet Second Life of Darrell Kincaid. Both novels reached number 1 spot on the New Zealand bestseller charts (Catherine is not ashamed to say she did a little dance).
Find out more on Catherine's website and Facebook page and you can find out where to buy her books from here.